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Research guide: Sociology

"The sociological imagination enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society. That is its task and its promise."
Mills, C. W., Down to earth Sociology

Reference books | Circulating Books | Library databases | Journals & Periodicals | Web resources
Reference Books
  • The basics of sociology
    edited by Kathy S. Stolley
    eBook available in Gale Virtual Reference Library

  • Encyclopedia of sociology
    Editors Edgar F. Borgatta and Rhonda Montgomery
    HM425 .E5 2000
    Sociology has consistently and at times intensively exchanged concepts, theories, methods, practices, and substance with other disciplines. The second edition of the Encyclopedia of Sociology continues the tradition established by the first of including articles on relevant sectors of different fields of study. For example, readers will find articles contributed by scholars belonging formally to specialties rooted in social psychology, social demography, social anthropology, social history, social geography, social ecology, some branches of political science, political economy, and sociolinguistics. Publisher comment

  • The Blackwell dictionary of sociology: a user's guide to sociological language
    Allan G. Johnson
    HM425 .J64 2000
    It is a portable dictionary that will help undergraduates and others interested in understanding the central concepts of sociology by offering them a representative sampling of some specialized areas within the field and some important concepts from related disciplines-such as Authority, Feminism and Teleoogical Explanation. This is unique in one respect. The others are edited collections of entries composed by many writers, but Johnson wrote this entire work in an effort to present the whole conceptual framework with one continuos voice. Booklist

  • Oxford Dictionary of Sociology
    Edited by Gordon Marshall
    HM17 .C66 1998
    Designed to meet the needs of those new to the subject, this fully updated and revised wide-ranging reference will also be invaluable to more advanced students and professionals. With expanded coverage of areas such as cultural studies and identity, mass media, and nationalism; the dictionary contains new entries on terms and ideas including administrative theory, consumer society, diaspora, Japanization, and McDonaldization. The over 2,500 clear, jargon-free entries offer international coverage of terms, methods, and concepts, as well as biographical sketches of major figures. Publisher comment

  • Handbook of sociological theory
    Edited by Jonathan H. Turner
    HM585 .H36 2001
    This wide-ranging handbook presents in-depth discussions on the array of subspecialties that comprise the field of sociological theory. Prominent theorists working in a variety of traditions discuss methodologies and strategies; the cultural turn in sociological theorizing; interaction processes; theorizing from the systemic and macro level; new directions in evolutionary theorizing; power, conflict, and change; and theorizing from assumptions of rationality.Publisher comment

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Circulating Books

Use Sociology as Subject

  • Invitation to Sociology: A humanistic perspective
    Peter L. Berger
    HM51 .B45 1963
    This lucid book presents the discipline of sociology to both the general reader and the student. Viewing sociology in the humanist tradition, Berger points out its affinity to history and philosophy, as well as its need for scientific procedures. Publisher comment

  • Sociology in America: A history, edited
    Craig Calhoun
    HM477.U6 S63 2007
    Though the word “sociology” was coined in Europe, the field of sociology grew most dramatically in America. Despite that disproportionate influence, American sociology has never been the subject of an extended historical examination. To remedy that situation, and to celebrate the centennial of the American Sociological Association, Craig Calhoun assembled a team of leading sociologists to produce Sociology in America. Publisher comment

  • Social theory: the multicultural and classic readings
    Edited by Charles Lemert
    HM51 .S66235 1999
    This first truly multicultural anthology collects important, readable texts representative of the full range of social theory as it has developed from the nineteenth century to the present. Now that social theory is practiced in many disciplines, it is time to reflect on the variety of theories being read today and the earlier sources that are customarily neglected...Extensive introductory essays by the editor situate the writings in their times, identifying the currents of social change that shaped fundamental questions of modern and postmodern life. Publisher comment

  • The forest and the trees: sociology as life, practice, and promise
    Allan G. Johnson.
    HM26 .J66 1997
    If sociology could teach everyone just one thing, what would it be? What insight about the nature of social life could serve as a gateway to questions that point toward everything we want to know? What could we use as a starting point, a core view of reality on which sociological practice of all kinds is based, consciously or not?
    The Forest and the Trees is one sociologist's response to the hypothetical—the core insight with the greatest potential to change how people see the world and themselves in it. It is about what that insight is and why it matters that we understand it, use it, and pass it on. It is about the future of a discipline whose influence and credibility will stand or fall on the ability to foster a clear and widespread understanding of what it means to think sociologically. Publisher comment

Writing manuals:

  • Writing for social scientists:how to start and finish your thesis, book, or article
    Howard S. Becker, with a chapter by Pamela Richards
    H91 .B4 1986
    Drawing on his thirty-five years' experience as a researcher, writer, and teacher, Becker exposes the foibles of the academic profession to the light of sociological analysis and gentle humor. He also offers eminently useful suggestions for ways to make social scientists better and more productive writers. Among the topics discussed are how to overcome the paralyzing fears of chaos and ridicule that lead to writer's block how to rewrite and revise, again and again how to adopt a persona compatible with lucid prose how to deal with that academic bugaboo, "the literature."...In recounting his own trials and errors Becker offers his readers not a model to be slavishly imitated but an example to inspire. Throughout, his focus is on the elusive work habits that contribute to good writing, not the more easily learned rules of grammar and punctuation. Publisher comment

  • Tricks of the trade:How to think about your research while you're doing it
    Howard S. Becker
    H91 .B38 1998
    Drawing on more than four decades of experience as a researcher and teacher, Howard Becker now brings to students and researchers the many valuable techniques he has learned. Tricks of the Trade will help students learn how to think about research projects. Assisted by Becker's sage advice, students can make better sense of their research and simultaneously generate fresh ideas on where to look next for new data. Publisher comment

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Library Databases

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Journals & Periodicals
  • American Sociological Review
    HM1 .A75
    Available in paper from 2002 or online at ProQuest from 1988 to one year ago
    The American Sociological Review is the flagship journal of the American Sociological Association (ASA). The ASA founded this journal in 1936 (volume 1) with the mission to publish original works of interest to the sociology discipline in general, new theoretical developments, results of research that advance our understanding of fundamental social processes, and important methodological innovations. All areas of sociology are welcome in the American Sociological Review. Emphasis is on exceptional quality and general interest. Mission Statement

  • Contemporary sociology
    HM1 .C65
    Available from Jan. 2003 to present in paper and from SocINDEX with Full Text from 01/01/1972 to 1 year ago; also available in EBSCO E-Journals from 01/01/2004 to present.
    Contemporary Sociology publishes reviews and critical discussions of recent works in sociology and in related disciplines that merit the attention of sociologists. Since not all sociological publications can be reviewed, a selection is made to reflect important trends and issues in the field. Mission Statement

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Web Resources
  • Everyday Sociology Blog: What's Sociology got to do with it?
    Looks at current events and contemporary issues from a sociologist's point of view. Contributors to this blog are experienced sociology professors from several academic institutions throughout the US. Choice Review

  • American Sociological Association
    A non-profit membership association dedicated to advancing sociology as a scientific discipline and profession serving the public good. Mission Statement

  • International Sociological Association
    A non-profit association for scientific purposes in the field of sociology and social sciences. The ISA was founded in 1949 under the auspices of UNESCO. The goal of the ISA, is to represent sociologists everywhere, regardless of their school of thought, scientific approaches or ideological opinion, and to advance sociological knowledge throughout the world. Its members come from 109 countries. Website

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For more help doing research on Sociology you can make an appointment with Lisa Polfer, the Reference Librarian, at, use the 'Ask a Question' button on the library webpage or call the reference desk at ext. 4105 at any time.

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